Sen Klobuchar staff visits Wadena to talk about broadband, infrastructure and housing

Day Two, visit one of following Senator Klobuchar’s crew. There were about 25 people in Wadena to talk about broadband, infrastructure and housing.

One thing I’ve heard in a few places – more related to roads – is that it’s hard for smaller towns and rural areas to get funding  with competitive granter.  Smaller towns simply don’t have numbers to compete with larger towns, like St Cloud. Highway 10 can’t compete with 94. I mention that because I could see the same happen with broadband. Of course there’s a push to get the most people served for the lowest price but that will leave some people behind – perpetually

Otherwise I have the entire meeting archive but only took notes on broadband…

When the roads are fixed the City will have to move infrastructure at the City’s expense. (Not sure if they are alluding to fiber or other broadband infrastructure but wanted to add it. That disconnect of fiber laying and road improvement has come up before.)

Otherwise there are comments from the frontline:

I cannot get a hotspot that will work at my house. I have no broadband and no cell services. We have satellite at my house – you couldn’t stream a show if you tried.

Two of the coops have taken the lead – CTC and West Central have been great. They serve primarily the rural communities. The incumbents have not been as helpful.

The city will soon (Sep 26) have greater flexibility when the need for franchise agreements changes. That will open up the market to other providers who might be interested in serving the city and other un/underserved areas.

If we’re going to ever going to get into telemedicine, we’re going to need better service.

Wadena County – second highest tax in the state. Yet income is one of the lowest. We don’t have enough housing for low income or even for not that low. We don’t have infrastructure to support an employer that might raise wages.

Is speed a problem?
Not really – most people who have access have 100/20 so the people who don’t have access really have nothing.

This entry was posted in Conferences, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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